Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rock Meditation

I am a Taurus and was therefore born with an inherent love of rocks. I used to do a lot of rock cairn paintings. I designed the rocks and then made them into piles like the above - all on paper. It was very meditative for some reason, and well, er, a bit like being God for a minute - sort of heady.

Years ago I read John McPhee's geological history of this country Basin and Range. It was exhausting but fascinating. After I painted this Rock Meditation, I decided to bite the bullet and find out what kind of rocks we actually have here in Maine. I couldn't bring myself to go back to McPhee's or any other encyclopedic account, so I jumped on the internet and found a way cool resource that turned out to be at my level of comprehension.

Chebeague Island's K-3 graders had been studying rocks and minerals, and created and posted their own Maine Rocks and Minerals Book. They have utilized a collection and information put together by the Maine Geological Survey. A number of the children from the class, along with Beverly Johnson and geologist Carol White got together, took pictures and wrote up descriptions of the collection for this booklet. Though I think I might have learned all of this a long time ago, I re-learned the following basics and lots more.  It seemed like more fun this time - maybe because I now know I probably won't remember it all. The link to their book is below. In the meantime, and so you don't hit the page at sub-K like I did, here's one thing you ought to know:

Minerals are a natural solid substance of a definite chemical composition and crystalline structure and rocks are a mixture of one or more of these minerals.

When I found Andy Goldsworthy's books I thought I was in heaven. For those of you who haven't seen his work, check out his web site. Andy Goldsworthy's web site: http://www.rwc.uc.edu/artcomm/web/w2005_2006/maria_Goldsworthy/TEST/index.html

Chebeague Island's K-3 graders web site: http://www.chebeague.org/cischool/rocksminerals/http://www.chebeague.org/cischool/rocksminerals/

Rock Meditation • 8"x 8" watercolor framed to 12"x12" • $200

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